Politico has an excellent piece about former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who currently is considering an independent run for the US presidency.

An excerpt:

“Though he stepped down last year as Starbucks’ chairman and CEO, Schultz’s political pitch is deeply rooted in the company’s carefully cultivated image as a progressive, benevolent employer that cares for its employees, which it calls ‘partners,’ and acts as what he calls a ‘gathering spot, a Third Place that draws people together.’ He presents himself as a rare combination of archetypes: a visionary entrepreneur who’s built an $84 billion global empire on pricey lattes, and a bleeding-heart do-gooder who lavishes health coverage, college tuition and other benefits on those 330,000 ‘partners,’ has them undergo racial-bias training and write ‘Come Together’ on customers’ coffee cups. In response to President Donald Trump’s immigrant-bashing, the company promised to hire 10,000 refugees.

“This pitch is also steeped in the mystique of progressive, affluent Seattle, Starbucks’ hometown, celebrated around the world as a capital of coffee culture, innovation and progressive policy. In an op-ed in the Seattle Times last week, Schultz praised his adopted home effusively, oddly crediting its ‘diversity of thought’ with helping inspire him to (maybe) run as a centrist independent.

“But there’s a disconnect here … His ‘come together’ pitch may ring weakest here in Seattle, where he’s proved a singularly divisive figure and left a long, unhappy trail of civic and community disengagement. The rest of the world might know him as the father of the Frappuccino, but here he’s known for treating a public park like private property and throwing away the city’s NBA team. Schultz acknowledged in his op-ed that ‘Seattle and I have had a complicated relationship.’ But that was putting it mildly.”

Perhaps most revealing are quotes from Gordon Bowker, one of Starbucks’ founders, who calls him “vindictive,” “instinctually defensive and self-protective” and “not an honest person.”

You can read the entire story here.